A Festival with a Purpose: Changeville Music and Arts Festival
The Changeville Music & Arts Festival, presented by the frank conference, will be making its grand return to downtown Gainesville from February 8-9, 2018. Besides combining musicians, artists, comedians and speakers, this event stands apart from other festivals because everyone participating is united under a common factor: a passion for positive social change.
This year’s lineup is already impressive enough, but the most impressive aspect is the community service and activism that comes along with the group of performers. Big names like Benjamin Booker and Princess Nokia will be headlining the event, with local support from groups including Retrolux, Flipturn and many others.
One of the hallmark messages of the Changeville event is that anyone from any walk of life can come together to be in good company at this festival. The diversity of the entertainment echoes this forward-looking theme. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy, and odds are, you’ll leave with a new respect for an art-form you didn’t previously identify with.
“Having lived in Gainesville pretty much my entire life, positive social change in the world is what Gainesville is really all about and what our community’s personality is,” Brandon Telg, one of the Changeville directors, said.
When you are able to de-other, you are able to show that we are really all the same.
This year’s event will have a special emphasis on racial justice, feminism and the overall need for unity. An interesting new concept that Telg introduced me to was “de-othering.”
“One of our panels sums it up best, and that’s de-othering, using art to de-other. When you create this sense of otherness from other people, that’s where it becomes easier to classify and judge, to have biases and prejudices,” said Telg. “When you are able to de-other, you are able to show that we are really all the same.”
Headliner Benjamin Booker, a blues rock musician, has a particularly close tie with the city of Gainesville. As a graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Booker’s performance is almost like a homecoming. The fame he has earned since his humble beginnings as a UF student is truly a testament to the great things that can spring from our local music scene.
Local indie-electronic duo Retrolux epitomize the standards that the performers at the Changeville festival are held to.
Outside of their music, Anna James and Mäynard Shaye are heavily involved in the Gainesville community. James works closely with local shelters to help animals find homes and Shaye directs the Gainesville Language Exchange. His organization hosts weekly events where people can come together to speak their native language and practice their cultures without fear of judgement.
“Together, we make positive and uplifting music for anyone to enjoy, because that’s what we really need around here: more positivity,” James said.
“I love the city Gainesville and all of the thriving positive change it embodies. Being a part of Changeville helps Retrolux amplify the festival’s call to action to keep working for a better future for our community,” Shaye added.
With artists that take such a personal pride in what they can do for those around them, the entire Changeville event will be nothing short of transformative.
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